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Next Century Cities Discuss Dissatisfaction with Broadband Providers in Webinar With FCC Officials

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Screenshot of Lukas Pietrzak, policy associate at Next Century Cities

May 1, 2020— A spokesman for Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday highlighting the agency’s grant of hundreds of million of dollars for telemedicine projects on a Thursday webinar hosted by Next Century Cities.

“The commission has been insanely busy,” said the spokesman, Evan Swarztrauber. Also discussing the agency’s waiver of some E-rate rules, he called the FCC’s actions “proactive, and reactive, but mostly proactive.”

Kevin Pisacich, communications and security systems division manager for Oxnard, California, said that 80 percent of businesses that responded called high speed broadband “critical to their operations” in a survey.

Pisachich also referenced a BroadbandNow study showing how broadband fared in different cities in mid-March. Oxnard was the city the third-highest number of degradations: It had a 42 percent average download degradation of service during a one-week period in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Significantly, he said, Oxnard does not fit the FCC definition of “unserved areas” nor does it meet the definition for “rural areas,” so it is actually ineligible for many of its recently-discussed broadband funds, including the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

He made a point to announce that Oxnard is developing a fiber master plan with the goal of leveraging fiber-optic infrastructure throughout the city to provide high-speed internet access to communities where it is currently lacking through public-private partnerships.

Denise Riedl, chief technology officer of South Bend, Indiana, also shared her perspective about the lack of high-quality broadband in cities.

She said that parts of South Bend are “totally reliant on DSL” referring direct subscriber line, a dated technology and method of accessing the internet that relies on a landline telephone connection.

Riedl complained about how the city has used busses to bring hotspots to their kids.

“It’s just not enough,” she complained. Riedl stated that she is “haunted by what the future will hold,” based on South Bend’s previous broadband challenges.

“We’ve been suffering in a way that the data doesn’t show,” Riedl said. Riedl described seeing kids from South Bend doing homework outside on the sidewalk and said this is “not the America we want to see.”

Expert Opinion

Jeff Blum and V. Noah Campbell: Unleashing the Next Wave of American 5G through Competition in the 12 GHz Spectrum Band

Allowing 5G use of the 12 GHz band will lead to better broadband.

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The authors of this Expert Opinion are Jeff Blum of DISH and V. Noah Campbell of RS Access

May 1, 2020— A spokesman for Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday highlighting the agency’s grant of hundreds of million of dollars for telemedicine projects on a Thursday webinar hosted by Next Century Cities.

“The commission has been insanely busy,” said the spokesman, Evan Swarztrauber. Also discussing the agency’s waiver of some E-rate rules, he called the FCC’s actions “proactive, and reactive, but mostly proactive.”

Kevin Pisacich, communications and security systems division manager for Oxnard, California, said that 80 percent of businesses that responded called high speed broadband “critical to their operations” in a survey.

Pisachich also referenced a BroadbandNow study showing how broadband fared in different cities in mid-March. Oxnard was the city the third-highest number of degradations: It had a 42 percent average download degradation of service during a one-week period in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Significantly, he said, Oxnard does not fit the FCC definition of “unserved areas” nor does it meet the definition for “rural areas,” so it is actually ineligible for many of its recently-discussed broadband funds, including the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

He made a point to announce that Oxnard is developing a fiber master plan with the goal of leveraging fiber-optic infrastructure throughout the city to provide high-speed internet access to communities where it is currently lacking through public-private partnerships.

Denise Riedl, chief technology officer of South Bend, Indiana, also shared her perspective about the lack of high-quality broadband in cities.

She said that parts of South Bend are “totally reliant on DSL” referring direct subscriber line, a dated technology and method of accessing the internet that relies on a landline telephone connection.

Riedl complained about how the city has used busses to bring hotspots to their kids.

“It’s just not enough,” she complained. Riedl stated that she is “haunted by what the future will hold,” based on South Bend’s previous broadband challenges.

“We’ve been suffering in a way that the data doesn’t show,” Riedl said. Riedl described seeing kids from South Bend doing homework outside on the sidewalk and said this is “not the America we want to see.”

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Rural

Groups Heap Praise on FCC for Corrective Action on Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

The agency is scrutinizing the winning bids for the $9.2-billion fund, and asking companies to consider withdrawing.

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Former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, foreground right, and current Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, background.

May 1, 2020— A spokesman for Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday highlighting the agency’s grant of hundreds of million of dollars for telemedicine projects on a Thursday webinar hosted by Next Century Cities.

“The commission has been insanely busy,” said the spokesman, Evan Swarztrauber. Also discussing the agency’s waiver of some E-rate rules, he called the FCC’s actions “proactive, and reactive, but mostly proactive.”

Kevin Pisacich, communications and security systems division manager for Oxnard, California, said that 80 percent of businesses that responded called high speed broadband “critical to their operations” in a survey.

Pisachich also referenced a BroadbandNow study showing how broadband fared in different cities in mid-March. Oxnard was the city the third-highest number of degradations: It had a 42 percent average download degradation of service during a one-week period in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Significantly, he said, Oxnard does not fit the FCC definition of “unserved areas” nor does it meet the definition for “rural areas,” so it is actually ineligible for many of its recently-discussed broadband funds, including the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

He made a point to announce that Oxnard is developing a fiber master plan with the goal of leveraging fiber-optic infrastructure throughout the city to provide high-speed internet access to communities where it is currently lacking through public-private partnerships.

Denise Riedl, chief technology officer of South Bend, Indiana, also shared her perspective about the lack of high-quality broadband in cities.

She said that parts of South Bend are “totally reliant on DSL” referring direct subscriber line, a dated technology and method of accessing the internet that relies on a landline telephone connection.

Riedl complained about how the city has used busses to bring hotspots to their kids.

“It’s just not enough,” she complained. Riedl stated that she is “haunted by what the future will hold,” based on South Bend’s previous broadband challenges.

“We’ve been suffering in a way that the data doesn’t show,” Riedl said. Riedl described seeing kids from South Bend doing homework outside on the sidewalk and said this is “not the America we want to see.”

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Fiber

Windstream Focuses on Gigabit Infrastructure for Future Broadband Challenges

Company head says scalable, gigabit future is a priority now to deal with future broadband challenges.

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Photo of Tony Thomas from his address during Fiber Connect 2021.

May 1, 2020— A spokesman for Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday highlighting the agency’s grant of hundreds of million of dollars for telemedicine projects on a Thursday webinar hosted by Next Century Cities.

“The commission has been insanely busy,” said the spokesman, Evan Swarztrauber. Also discussing the agency’s waiver of some E-rate rules, he called the FCC’s actions “proactive, and reactive, but mostly proactive.”

Kevin Pisacich, communications and security systems division manager for Oxnard, California, said that 80 percent of businesses that responded called high speed broadband “critical to their operations” in a survey.

Pisachich also referenced a BroadbandNow study showing how broadband fared in different cities in mid-March. Oxnard was the city the third-highest number of degradations: It had a 42 percent average download degradation of service during a one-week period in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Significantly, he said, Oxnard does not fit the FCC definition of “unserved areas” nor does it meet the definition for “rural areas,” so it is actually ineligible for many of its recently-discussed broadband funds, including the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

He made a point to announce that Oxnard is developing a fiber master plan with the goal of leveraging fiber-optic infrastructure throughout the city to provide high-speed internet access to communities where it is currently lacking through public-private partnerships.

Denise Riedl, chief technology officer of South Bend, Indiana, also shared her perspective about the lack of high-quality broadband in cities.

She said that parts of South Bend are “totally reliant on DSL” referring direct subscriber line, a dated technology and method of accessing the internet that relies on a landline telephone connection.

Riedl complained about how the city has used busses to bring hotspots to their kids.

“It’s just not enough,” she complained. Riedl stated that she is “haunted by what the future will hold,” based on South Bend’s previous broadband challenges.

“We’ve been suffering in a way that the data doesn’t show,” Riedl said. Riedl described seeing kids from South Bend doing homework outside on the sidewalk and said this is “not the America we want to see.”

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